Wednesday 29 January 2014


Today the Indian society is mainly divided on the lines of Brahmins and Non Brahmins. It is not very difficult to understand that such a division of the society is not provided for either in the dharma shAstra-s or the vedas. This man-made division is the height of absurdity considering the fact that vedas do not sanction such a division as the kShatriya-s & vaishya-s are considered to be equal to the Brahmins insofar as the study of veda-s and vedic practices are concerned. Just like brAhman the kShatriya & vaishya are also entitled to upanayana samskAra and gAyatri as is evident from different gRhyasUtra-s for eg, Apastamba says :

“ गर्भाष्टमेषु ब्राह्मणं, गर्भैकादशेषु राजन्यं, गर्भाद्वादशेषु वैश्यम्।। (आपस्तम्बः)” in the eighth year from conception i.e. the 7th year from birth, the brAhman should be intitiated into gAyatri. Similarly, in the 10th year from birth for kShatriya and 11th year for vaishya

brAhmaNaH kShatriyo vaishyaH trayo varNAH dvijAdayaH
saMskRtAshcAnyathA shUdrAH evaM vedavido viduH
tasmAdayaM suto me.adyaH shUdravat vartate shishuH
upanItaH kriyArhaH syAt iti vedeShu nirNayaH
rAjJAmekAdashe varShe sadopanayanaM smRtaM
aShTame brAhmaNAnAM ca vaishyAnAM dvAdashe kila (devI bhAgavata 7-7)

“The three varNa-s of brAhmaNa, kShatriya and vaishya are dvija (twice born) only if they undergo the upanayana saMskAra otherwise they are indeed considered to be shUdra in the absence of saMskAra” 

How then did the kShatriya-s & vaishya-s came to be grouped as “non-brahmins” ? Grouping of certain varNa-s as non-brahmins is therefore unwarranted and uncalled for. It must also be understood that the words ‘varNa’ & ‘jAti’ stand for entirely different concepts and the word varNa cannot by any stretch of imagination be used to mean a particular caste or jAti. It is therefore worthwhile to understand the true concept of varNa.

The entire creation is in the form of three energies namely “brahma” (ब्रह्म) , “kShatra” (क्षत्र) & “visha” (विश). For transactional purposes i.e. lokanirvAha in connection with religious rites pertaining to both daiva (दैव) & mAnuSha (मानुष) the created beings became four fold, into the four varNa-s. It must be understood that the varNa-s are not unique to human creation alone but obtains even in the created divine beings. It is therefore amply clear that the classification into the four varNa-s of the created beings does not actually make a particular varNa superior or inferior to the other varNa-s. Otherwise it would tantamount to attributing superiority or inferiority to the divine beings too.

In all the sacrificial rites of the veda-s, the first offering is given to prajApati, indra, agni & soma. the first ablutions are प्रजापतये स्वाहा | इन्द्राय स्वाहा | अग्नये स्वाहा | सोमाय स्वाहा | offered to prajApati, indra, agni & soma and only thereafter the other devata-s are offered havirbhAga. Here prajApati is defined as brAhman, indra as kShatriya, agni as brAhmana and soma as the king of the brAhmaNa-s here. So Obviously, all are treated with due respects without any deva being treated as superior or inferior. “सोमोस्माकं ब्राह्मणानां राजेत्याह |” “ब्रह्म ह्यग्निः |” “क्षत्रमिन्द्रः|” are but a few of the countless reference to the varNa classification of the divinities in the veda-s.

Further, a prayer to agni in the beginning of yAga goes thus :

“रुचं नो धेहि ब्राह्मणेषु रुचं राजसु नस्कृधि | रुचं विश्येषु शूद्रेषु मयि धेहि रुचा रुचं |” 

“rucaM no dhehi brAhmaNeShu rucaM rAjasu naskRdhi | rucaM vishyeShu shUdreShu mayi dhehi rucA rucaM |”
(YV. Mula samhita K.5. P.7 A.6. - 3 and 4)

which is a prayer to the agni to “bestow upon us the radiance of the brAhmaNa-s, kShatriya-s, vaishya-s & shUdra-s”. Had the kShatriya or vaishya or shUdra been inferior to the brAhmaNa-s, would anyone pray for the energies of these varNa-s?

It must be understood that the varNa classification exists among the devas, the gems, the nine planets, in the animals and even in the letters of sanskrit. “vaiDUrya” (cat’s eye) a particular gem is classified as brAhmaNa, kshatriya, vaishya & shUdra based on its variation in color. Among the nine planets, the sun is kShatriya, but shani, the son of sun is a shUdra. Similarly, budha is classified as a vaishya. But budha is stated to be the son born to chandra & tArA. guru & shukra are stated to be brAhmaNa-s. Now which of the nine planets is superior or inferior ? The soil of the earth is also subject to these varNa classification. By mixing different varNa-s of soil, fertility that is lost can be restored. The soil that has lost its fertility, though called by its original name, can never have the original characteristics unless mixed with fresh fertile soil. In the creation of humans also, the varnas are subject to changes arising out of various reasons. Manu smRti says a brAhmaNa can become a vaishya in three days if he resorts to selling milk. By indulging in trade, a brAhmaNa will become a vaishya. Similarly a shUdra can become a brAhmaNa by reciting gAyatri. There are umpteen instances of the so called shUdra-s attaining brAhman-hood. Hence, the varNa-s were never created or conceived as water tight compartments. The difference in the varNa-s was actually meant for evolution of mankind by improving the divine powers of “brahma” “kShatra” & “viT” energies through penance and religious practices as enjoined in the veda-s and definitely not for creating inequality or complexes and animosity in the minds of people. By the increase of divine power, the self and the society as a whole and the nation can attain comfort and happiness.

1 comment:

  1. The veda-s are replete with statements which emphasise that the power or energy called “brahma’ & kShatra constitue the entire creation. Further, these two energies are stated to be co-existing in all created beings. They are inter-dependant and one cannot exist in the absence of the other.

    “ब्रह्म वा अग्निः | क्षत्रमिन्द्रः | यदैन्द्राग्नो भवति | ब्रह्मक्षत्रे एवावरुन्धे |”

    “ब्रह्मक्षत्रं हि सर्वस्य कारणं जगतः परम्।“

    “नाब्रह्म क्षत्रमृध्नोति नाक्षत्रं ब्रह्म वर्धते।
    ब्रह्म क्षत्रं च संपृक्तमिह चामुत्र वर्धते॥“

    A slightly depleted form of energies of the brahma-kShatra is the “viT” shakti.

    “यथा सामर्चा ब्रह्मणे समनमत् क्षत्राय समनमत् यथा ब्रह्मक्षत्रेण राज्ञे समनमत् विशे समनमत् यथा राजा विशा रथाय समनमत् अश्वेभ्यः समनमत्....”

    are some of the shrutivAkya-s that indicate this. The vedas also prescribe some vedic rituals and karma-s for the human beings of these types. At some places in the veda-s, the “brahma” energy is stated to be the divine “tejas”, the kShatra is stated to be “ojas” or vitality, “viT” shakti is stated to “balam” or strength and “shUdra” shakti is identified as “pratiShThA” or power of stability or “puShTa” i.e. nourishing power. The following are some of the shrutivAkya-s which announce this :

    “प्राची दिशां वसन्त ऋतूनामग्निर्देवता ब्रह्म द्रविणं त्रिवृत्स्तोमः स उ पञ्चदशवर्तनिस्त्र्यविर्वयः कृतमयानां पुरोवातो वातः सानग ऋषिर्दक्षिणा दिशां ग्रीष्म ऋतूनामिन्द्रो देवता क्षत्त्रं द्रविणं पञ्चदशः स्तोमः स उ सप्तदशवर्तनिर्दित्यवाड्वयस्त्रेताऽयानां दक्षिणाद्वातो वातः सनातन ऋषिः प्रतीची दिशां वर्षा ऋतूनां विश्वे देवा देवता विट् द्रविणं सप्तदशः स्तोमः स उवेकविँशवर्तनिस्त्रिवत्सो वयो द्वापरोऽयानां पश्चाद्वातो वातोऽहभून ऋषिरुदीची दिशां शरदृतूनां मित्रावरुणौ देवता पुष्टं द्रविणमेकविँशः स्तोमः स उ त्रिणववर्तनिस्तुर्यवाड्वय आस्कन्दोऽयानामुत्तराद्वातो वातः प्रत्न ऋषिरूर्ध्वा दिशां हेमन्तशिशिरावृतूनां बृहस्पतिर्देवता वर्चो द्रविणं त्रिणवः स्तोमः स उ त्रयस्त्रिंशवर्तनिः पष्टवाड्वयोऽभिभूरयानां विष्वग्वातो वातः सुपर्ण ऋषिः पितरः पितामहाः परेऽवरे ते नः पान्तु ते नोऽवन्त्वस्मिन्ब्रह्मन्नस्मिन्क्षत्त्रेऽस्यामाशिष्यस्यां पुरोधायामस्मिन्कर्मन्नस्यां देवहूत्याम्।“ – TS 4-3-3-1

    “क्षत्रं वाऽइन्द्रः, विशो मरुतः। विशा वै क्षत्रियो बलवान्भवति। तस्मादाश्वत्थेऽऋतुपात्रे स्याताम्। कार्ष्मर्यमये त्वेव भवतः।“ – SB 4-3-3-6

    Now from the point of view of tantra also, the brahma-kShatra shakti-s are stated to be nothing but agnIShoma shakti-s :

    “brahmakShatre tu saMpRkte hyagnIShomamayAtmani |
    nivasatyatisaMprItA grISme zIta iva hrade ||” ahirbudhynya..

    “omApo jyotiriti somAgnyosteja ucyate |
    tadAtmakaM jagatsarvaM rasastejodbhavaM smRtam ||

    “The divine luminosity of the soma & agni are nothing but oM, Apa, jyoti. This creation is constituted by this soma-agni...”

    And the brahma-kShatra shakti-s are nothing but the soma-agni shakti-s which should be possessed by each and every created being. divinity resides there where this brahma-kShatra power which is agni-somamaya !